Oaths of Office

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The Preamble Of the Constitution of the United States

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

https://constitution.congress.gov/constitution/

The Preamble of the Constitution of the State of Michigan

We, the people of the State of Michigan, grateful to Almighty God for the blessings of freedom, and earnestly desiring to secure these blessings undiminished to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution.

https://legislature.mi.gov

Both have significant Articles and Amendments detailing the responsibilities and obligations of those who are elected to office as it pertains to orderly progress of government. What is the most significant in both documents is the beginning phrase, “We The People” who determine who governs us. We, the residents of any state and citizens of the United States, have the final say over who governs and how they govern, however; most of us do not bother to know what role we play in how government works, but we are quick to complain when elected officials don’t do what we want them to do. The remedy for this chaotic mess is really remarkably simple—know who it is we vote into office—know where they stand, what they believe what their values are and how those things align with what we believe and how all should be treated.

Now, how many of us actually get to know the candidates before we vote for them? How many of us vote for someone simply because we recognize their name? How many of us actually pay attention to what people do once they get in office? How many of us contact our elected officials and let them know what we think of their performance? We are paying them with tax dollars, so we have a right to know and demand they pay attention to us—their constituents. If they do not or will not, they should never be re-elected, no matter how much money they spend campaigning.

Okay, that is the first thing of note, about why people should keep their oath of office, they were not elected to represent themselves, but the people who elected them.

So, what does an “oath” really mean? According to Merriam-Webster, “a solemn usually formal calling upon God or a god to witness to the truth of what one says or to witness that one sincerely intends to do what one says.” It is a pledge or promise to do something.

An “oath of office” is therefore a pledge or promise to uphold the solemnity of the position and to do the best one can to fulfill the requirements of that office. This oath of office is different for the various “offices” one can hold.

The President of the United States takes an oath of office, all Senators and Representatives take an oath of office, all state and local elected officials, and appointed ones, take an oath of office, but how many really understand what it means, and will do what it is intended to do—abide by the pledges they take?

It is difficult, if not impossible to uphold a pledge or keep a promise if a person has no clue as to what they were saying or the ramifications of making that attestation when sworn into office. Considering the mess, we have in Washington with Senators and Representatives condoning seditious acts—we know they had no clue, and their constituents should hold them accountable and make sure they are never elected again. Unfortunately, most voters will not pay attention, or they will believe the lies they’re told and keep putting traitors into offices of trust—to the United States—not a person.

Promising or pledging to fulfill a performance “to the best of one’s ability,” should require a commitment to know what is expected and then do it. That means, a person should know about the position to which they were elected, know where and how to find information that needs discussion before they vote on it, and keep in mind, their vote should represent what is best for those who voted for them, not their own personal agenda.

Therein lies the real problem, gullible voters who put people into office who have no intention whatsoever of serving the needs of the people, but in serving their own—for their own glorification. The perfect examples are found looking at what elected Senators and Representatives are doing in Washington, who fooled the people (unless the people who voted for them are actually missing brain cells) who voted for them and now, by their actions, their votes and collective loyalty to a TwiceImpeached megalomaniac, they totally ignore the needs of the people to appease the megalomaniac. They are not upholding their oaths of office and unfortunately, most of their constituents appear not to care.

We see the same disregard to upholding oaths of office at state and local levels when people don’t know what they’re doing, and they’ve managed to gaslight constituents into believing they care or everyone else is against them (playing the victim or race card). We see people vote on issues that do nothing to protect or uplift the constituents, but do everything to keep people oppressed and now, in certain states, elected officials are actually voting to “suppress the vote of their electorate.” What are, “we the people” doing to allow such a thing to happen? Apparently, nothing, which is why those in office are doing what they do because they know, they can get away with it when their electorate is complacent and will not pay attention.

“We The People” (all the people) must do better. We must know and understand the oath elected officials take and hold their feet to the proverbial fire—challenging them every step of the way, when they choose to take a path that is not going to benefit the people more than it benefits them. It is time folks, for all those who are eligible to vote to vote and vote in every election, knowing who it is we are voting for and that they will uphold their oath of office for the people, and not themselves. It is in our hands and if we refuse to take control of the situation, whatever happens to this nation, our states, and local municipalities, is on us—not them. We have the power and it is time we exercised it, at every level of government.

We, The People, need to pledge our own oaths as the electorate.

“I pledge, as an eligible voter of my state and city, to exercise my right to vote in every election, for demonstrably qualified candidates who hold any office that impacts my life and living conditions. I also pledge to hold all elected officials accountable for what they do in office, whether I voted for them or not. I will not be silently complicit with any wrongdoing committed by any elected official and will therefore take every legal measure possible to ensure, that official, is never elected again.”

Can We Think American For A Minute?

Sometimes, some people get so lost in the political bickering between parties, I think we forget–we are Americans and therefore should be concerned about the plight of Americans as a whole. So, now would be a good time to think about what and who we support.

As an American, who is a registered Democrat, I support the right of a woman to choose–since God gives us freedom to choose–no one else should interfere with that choice.

As an American, I believe we all have a right to defend our homes, but I do not believe anyone needs to own military style weapons that are designed to kill multiple people at a time.

As an American, I believe affordable healthcare should be available to all since none of us knows when a health calamity could show up in our lives.

As an American, I believe hatred should never be condoned or promoted of any group of people simply because they look different or speak differently.

As an American, I believe justice should be rendered equitably and fairly for all people and no one should be above the law.

As an American, I believe all others have the right to live where they want to live and love who they want to love. I am not God and will have no say so in judging anyone at the end of our time, so I simply must love all as I am instructed to do.

As an American, I believe every child is entitled to a quality education no matter where they live or what their parents’ financial situation is.

As an American, I believe this is the only planet we will ever inhabit so we need to take care of it, not destroy it. We need clean air and water and to find energy sources that do not negatively impact the land or destroy wildlife habitats.

As an American, I believe I have the right to express myself without destroying property which is a violation of someone else’s right to their property.

As an American, I believe I have a right and responsibility to call out injustice and inequities when I see them and work to resolve them.

As an American, I believe I have the right to exercise and practice my faith—whatever that might be and not try to force my beliefs on others.


As an American, I have a responsibility to make wise decisions in choosing competent, responsible leadership in every election–leadership that represents and governs for all the people, not just a segment of the people.


As an American, I know truth is always better than lies, even if it hurts.

In reflecting upon all the above statements, there is only one presidential candidate who aligns with my beliefs about being an American, I hope all who read this, come to the same conclusion.  

city hall and me

“Access Denied”

“Access Denied”

I’m not sure how many black Americans feel about all the uproar from those who don’t fully understand, why Black Lives Matter, or what it means to have been denied access to so much in this country that has made the, “wealth gap” between black Americans and white Americans so great. Simply put, from the time African slaves were brought to this country, we have been “denied access” to the basics that promote prosperity for the general populace.

For those who do not claim to be racist, I would like for you to take a walk-through history–via an actual book or Internet research to understand how the denial of access has kept people behind. For those who know and understand–I hope you’ll speak up to confirm what I say and I’m going to use the plural pronoun, “we” because my ancestors were part of the journey and the multitudes who were denied access.

  • We were denied access to the native language of the many tribes brought to this country. Fear of what was being said, and not understood by white slave owners, forced African tribesmen to forego their native language to learn a new one–in captivity.
  • We were denied access to learning to read or write the new forced language because the white slave owners knew, that once we learned how to read and understand the environment and how it purposefully kept people under control, we would rebel and fight for the freedoms we rightfully deserved as human beings.
  • We were denied access to protecting women and children from being molested and raped by white slave owners who “raped the women” to expand their wealth of slaves without paying for more. Many of those women were raped in front of the men they had been given to for “procreating more slaves” and the men were prohibited from doing anything to protect their women.
  • We were denied access to having our inventions patented because we were not considered “full human beings.”
  • We were denied access to raising our own children when the “master” thought it was more beneficial to separate black children from their mothers so they could benefit economically.
  • We were denied access to joining the military to fight in early wars and had to join all black regiments (check the history for yourself), there was more to the black regiments than the Tuskegee Airmen than many have no knowledge about.
  • We were denied access to buy land or houses in specific areas and had to use white allies to purchase for us and then were denied access to equality of living in peace and freedom because white neighbors didn’t want us around them.
  • We were denied access for the opportunity to go to school with white children (segregation).
  • We were denied access to use public transportation in the same way as our white counterparts.
  • We were denied access to college education and therefore established our own after a number of black people, sat in hallways, on the floor, grappling to understand what was said by white professors so they could also get a higher education.
  • We were denied access to hotels, bathrooms, theaters, and restaurants and when were given access–we were seated in out of the way places so as not to upset or offend the white clientele.
  • We were denied access to be accurately portrayed in the movies, and in television shows as a people with their own rich culture.
  • We were denied access to economic growth–bank loans, mortgages, and other businesses. When some dared to defy the status quo and established their own access to economic wealth (Black Wall Street), angry, bigoted white people burned down the town and killed many of the residents.
  • We were denied access to equal justice in all areas of our “so-called justice system. We were never given opportunity to prove innocence because were always judged guilty simply because of our skin tones.
  • We were denied access to the same amenities of our white counterparts on trains, in bus depots and on buses.
  • We were denied access to community amenities–the swimming pools, the tennis courts.
  • We were denied access to healthcare and dental care and funeral homes–we had to establish our own which were not equal to the access others had.
  • We were denied access to cemeteries–I guess dead black folks were a big threat.

So, I get why some people are up in arms with the current environment and awakening of reality–black people have a right to be angry and to protest the injustices suffered by our ancestors and what many are enduring right now–access denied–to being treated like a human being, American citizens, with justice for all.

The following is taken from a post on Facebook in response to someone bemoaning the fact that Black people wanted their own television station and colleges and universities–they did not understand why, so I responded. There was so much more, but at the time I read their post, only two things struck me to remember.

For Blinded Eyes–Historically

This morning, I woke up at 3:00 am and could not sleep, so I started scrolling through Facebook posts and ran across a post that got my attention. I cannot remember who wrote it, but perhaps, if they read through this one, they will know who are.

 

I do not remember all of it, but there are two things which struck me the most. You see, the post was bemoaning the fact that the author did not see the need for: BET (versus WET) or Black colleges versus white colleges. I wish I could remember more, but at 3:00 am, I guess I am doing good to remember this.

 

BET–the Black Entertainment Television–why? Because for years, there did not appear to be any room for black entertainers on most television networks. Most of the network productions portrayed black people as clownish or stupid, illiterate, and poor, with a few exceptions. The reason BET needed to be–because the WET (White Entertainment Television) (the author’s words, not mine) was all there was–and still does not adequately portray who black people are. But I want the author to remember think about this–exactly how long has the television industry been around and exactly how many shows accurately portrayed the black community? How long did it take for black entertainers to be taken seriously and given serious roles in the entertainment industry?

 

HBCU–Historical Black Colleges and Universities exist because for generations–white colleges would not allow black people entrance. The few black people who got into the hallways were left there–outside the classrooms, straining to hear what was said so they could keep up with the workload, but never accepted as part of the class. Historically, and apparently now, that attitude still exists today in some people who think black people are not good enough to get where they are.

 

I would ask the author and any who agreed with them to do some research and remember that the slaves were not allowed to learn to read, then they weren’t allowed into white schools, colleges, hotels, and when they were allowed into restaurants, they were seated “out of the way” of the white clientele.

 

If anyone is still reading this–that is a miracle, but I want to say this much. Instead of bemoaning or complaining about black people wanting equality and justice, remember what was done to us–and all the “access denied” that we endured, and yet, many of us have managed to do so much more than some white people who always had access to whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted it–and we did not. My response is not meant to stir up more racial hostility, but to hopefully cause some to wake up–and understand, we are just trying to obtain what you’ve always had–“access to doing better.” Whenever I see a lack of understanding about the history of black folks in America, I will address it and I would hope that–it would open the door to conversations that matter and will make a difference to all.

I do not have a problem addressing issues when I see them, but I will take the time to respond in a coherent manner, that does not promote any further racial tension. What I will not do, is to ignore the obvious ignorance that some have displayed simply because they want to deny history, or never understood it.

access denied

 

 

 

When Do Black Lives Matter?

When Do Black Lives Matter?

Of course, the question itself will bring about backlash from those with 1 dimensional (1D) thinking because it is not part of their message.

Well, it should be part of the message for everyone living in a community where the murder rate is beyond understandable. And yes, I am talking about black-on-black crime. It is unnerving and painful to acknowledge that the black community seems to be more concerned about the black lives taken by police, than those in their own community. Let’s face it–more black people are killed by other black people than those killed by the police.

Don’t get it twisted! I’m not saying there should not be a movement against police brutality against black people, but when is there going to be a movement against black people killing black people? The fact that black communities have become so desensitized to black-on-black crime makes those entire communities hypocrites when they protest police brutality and march in protests with BLM banners and wearing BLM T-shirts.

Until the black community wakes up–I mean really wakes up–and deals with the issues in their own back yards, on their own streets, how on earth do they think the killing of black people is going to cease? Yeah, the black community has myriad issues to deal with–poverty, illiteracy, mental illness, and homelessness, but are any of these issues a pass to commit crime? The drug-related crimes are over the top–not just those selling illegal drugs, but those committing crimes to get a fix. And then there is the greed, not need aspect of criminality in “the hood.” Carjacking, car theft, home invasions, and robberies. Now, these crimes are committed by every ethnic group, but stay focused–this essay is about black-on-black crimes.

People in the black community complain about the lack of opportunity and diversity in various places, but no one wants to own the problem with black-on-black crime. Why is that? Is it that “black lives matter,” only when the police are involved? Why don’t black lives matter daily, in every community?

Every year, new organizations rise and say they are going to solve the problem. Some may have put a “dent” in the problem, but the problem has not been solved. So many pastors and school leaders have attempted to stem the tide of violence and yet, the violence continues. Has anyone stopped to evaluate why? Has anyone stopped to think about emphasizing the need to stop killing each other in a manner that they see themselves differently? Has anyone thought about effective appropriate parenting classes would be in communities where the kids are angry and rebellious because parents are not parenting? How about parents teaching their children their value and worth before they ever start school? How about parents demonstrating, in front of the children, what it means to be a productive member of society? How about the church leaders stop passing the collection plate long enough to be an effective servant of God in teaching their congregations how to mentor children in their neighborhoods? When we as a community stop being so self-centered that we only care about us and seldom care about others?

When we learn to “love our neighbors as ourselves” real change will occur because love makes a difference. But if people do not love themselves, they are certainly not going to love others. So, let’s start with teaching people how to love themselves–displaying integrity, honor, and compassion. Until we do, the Black Lives Matter movement will continue to be a hypocrisy when black people, keep killing other black people.

Now do not think for a moment that I am advocating dissolution of the Black Lives Matter movement; I’m simply trying to put some perspective into the situation. We need police reform and it needs to begin with how police officers are trained, and continue as review on a regular basis–especially for those veteran officers who learned things one way and are reluctant or even rebellious about learning something new. When we as a people learn to respect all lives–especially those of our sisters and brothers of like skin-tones, maybe, just maybe–we can convince everyone else around us to respect us and our lives. Unless a person is defending their lives–no one should ever be killed–black or white or brown or any other ethnic group simply because of anger and a lack of inability to think before doing. Whenever people “react” to situations without thinking, they lose the ability to control a situation. Learn to respond and respect the lives of all.

Become a 3-dimensional (3D) thinker–thinking beyond what one can see or from just one perspective. When we do, we can solve problems and save lives.

Donald Trump’s Devil’s Deal

“The Art of the Deal” negotiated from hell!

When will “real Americans” stand up—sans political party affiliation—and do what’s right for America?

From the beginning—in 2015—most of us knew that a racist, pathological lying narcissist was running for the highest of the land. And most of us knew—he would make a mockery of it and he has.

From making “Faustian” deals with the White Evangelicals to the brain-numbed Republicans, a deal was made with devil. The “Art of the Deal” was to negotiate giving him cover for whatever he wanted to do, and they did, including allowing Putin’s influence to reign in the White House.

He told the churches, he’d get them whatever they wanted as long as they provided him with superficial “religious” cover—just enough to fool the gullible—and they did, according to Reverend Ron Schenck in a CNN interview. I’m sure, if Republicans were truly to be trusted and showed any integrity at all, they would probably say the same thing and even if we don’t know for sure what was said to them in 2016, we see the results: tax cuts for the rich, nothing for the poor; Betsy Devos serving as the Secretary of Education when she knows nothing about public education and therefore, all American students suffer for the payment she made to Donald Trump to destroy public education. Immigrants lost—they are no longer wanted in the United States—a bigoted stain of ugliness we may never be able to shed.

“What do you have to lose?” he asked of black voters. Well, we have lost so many lives that I do not dare attempt to name them or this essay will be far longer than I originally anticipated. With all of the brutality shown by some police officers against black people—more than ever, we have to vote for people who see us as people and will do the right thing, no matter what the political party affiliation is—Black Lives Matter—whether they’re Democrat or Republican and no one should be allowed to get away with snuffing out their lives simply because of hate. Now, this doesn’t mean that everyone else’s life doesn’t matter, but specifically it means that we all recognize that all life is important, but when it comes to Black Lives, it would appear that officers in certain police departments are members of the KKK or some other White Nationalist group and they demonstrate their loyalty by killing us and laughing about our cries that, “I can’t breathe.” We are not people to them. We do not matter to them. Donald Trump gave white officers the green light to take our lives—without fear of consequences.

He duped the LGBTQ community by ignoring the needs of the trans members and denying their right to serve in the military or receive medical care for their transition. Religious fodder that made the Evangelical community grunt with satisfaction and greedily beg for more—disdain and disregard of our fellow human beings.

The Hispanic community fare no better than any other group of non-white Americans and many of them still support this inept bungling menace. He turned his back on Puerto Rico during one of the worst times of their lives and thought tossing paper towels at them like they were some sort of game show contestants.

To say that Donald Trump is an ignorant son of a gun (my mother raised me right) would be an understatement. He has proven time and time again just how ignorant he really is—from not knowing historical facts almost every fifth grader knows to deliberately and calculatingly turning back consumer protections—designed to keep us safe. As a result, when the Coronavirus Crisis hit the shores of America, we were woefully unprepared because the “stable genius” ignored the warnings from the WHO and China. His ego would allow him to admit he didn’t have a clue and when the experts repeatedly made it clear he knew nothing, he stopped heeding their advice and as a result, as of this writing, America has lost over 134K people to this virus. Had he one ounce of dignity, integrity, or empathy, many of those lives could have been saved, but no—his ego and his desire to be re-elected is far more important than human lives.

There is some hope on the horizon, and it does not come from the federal government or anyone in the White House. The beacon of hope America has lies in the intelligence and willingness of its governors to do what is right for their constituents. Leading the way, Governor Cuomo, and Governor Gretchen Whitmer—Michigan’s own, “That Woman.” There are others, but these two refused to give into the egotist’s noise and did everything they could to save lives which included, total lockdowns (except for essential workers) and daily briefings as they disseminated the data for all to hear and understand. Yes, the economy took a hit (but Wall Street rallied), but the loss of lives could have been worse had it not been for the stance taken by the governors who refused to cave to the bullying from the White House or other Republicans. Our heroes—and they deserve to be called heroes—are the governors who put people before profits and dared to mandate protocols to keep everyone safe—wearing a mask, social distancing, and making sure hands were clean. Its commonsense approach is still shunned by the idiots, but some of those idiots—learned too late, that wearing a mask, saves a life. Some of those who raised the loudest ruckus, are no longer counted among the living.

I’m sure I haven’t said anything that most attentive people don’t already know, but I felt  the need to reiterate some of the travesties we’ve endured because some people—just didn’t understand—elections have consequences and we are all suffering from those consequences. We have another presidential election on the horizon. I hope the gullible have learned their lessons and will vote for the people who care about them more than money, who care about children more than money, who care about our military more than Putin. It is not about party affiliation—it is about voting for the people who understand the Constitution, will keep their oaths of office, and stand up for all Americans—just doing what’s right, rather than what is political.

If we want this Devil’s Deal to end—everyone eligible to vote—must vote Blue for every Democrat on ballots across the nation so we can move forward and clean up the mess and the stench left in the White House. We can do this. I know we can. I am going to do everything I can to remind people, daily, until November 3, 2020—our voice and vote matter and if we look to a future that includes us all—we will vote Blue.

Come on Michigan Women of Valor! Come on American Governors! Come on American Voters — let’s end this deal with the devil!

 

Being A Proud Black Mother

I’m a proud black mother

Who reflects upon history

And understands the timeline,

The never-ending chronology

Of mothers’ fears, worries and concern,

About every child delivered and born

Into this world of inequality and scorn

Simply because of their skin tone.

 

I’m a proud black mother,

Who can and does empathize

With those who stood quietly,

Tears rolling down their face

Pain ripping apart every fiber of their being,

As they watched their babies,

Torn from their arms,

Sold, abused and misused, slaughtered and maimed

All at the white man’s whim

With no humanitarian laws against him.

 

I’m a proud black mother,

Who lived through Jim Crow laws,

Never fully understanding then,

Heartache endured of my kin

Who had to stay in “their place,”

Never muttering a word against

Discriminatory acts, fear etched in their face,

Because the laws were never just,

Never considered the black man worthy of equality

Or having just laws to protect their families,

All we got was silence, no response to our pleas

To be treated like human beings.

 

I’m a proud black mother

Who gave birth to two children

My daughter and son, in that order.

Teaching her how to avoid situations

That could traumatize her life,

Teaching him how to avoid strife

While living black.

Over 40 years later, since my children were born

Not much has changed, children are still torn

From their mothers in one way or another,

From police brutality or someone else’s brother,

Who just didn’t understand

How precious life is for every black man.

 

I’m a proud black mother

And though some may never admit,

Days of being concerned, fretfully

About the plight of every black child

Will never end, until every man, woman and child

Stops treating human beings differently,

Until laws include a humanitarian stance

With equality and justice for all,

No matter what our skin tone is called,

Because the simple truth is this,

If we believe mankind began on the African Continent,

We are all of African descent

And can no longer hide in ignorant bliss

Behind the lies of inferiority of one man

To appease a fragile ego of those needing

To feel and act superior.

 

I’m a proud black mother,

In my advanced age, still willing to take a stand,

Actively involved with my vote and my hands,

Working with the community to silence the hate

That if not quelled, will eventually obliterate

Any forward movement, any strides made

To cross that finish line where all men, women and children

Are seen as humans and not just the color of their skin.

But until that happens, please understand the need for all to see

Black Lives Matter—especially to mothers who look like me!

I’m Voting for Joe Biden

I’m Voting for Joe Biden

Joe Biden For President–is better than a continuation of the idiocy we have endured for the past 3 1/2 years.

No one has to agree with me, but you might want to read what I’m saying before drawing conclusions based upon feelings and not facts. This is important because “feelings” have often led us astray.

Though Joe Biden has demonstrated the aging process is well underway (temporary memory lapses), he also has a proven track record and he’ll choose a cabinet and other advisors who are experts in their fields and they will guide him in making the right decisions for all and not just some Americans.

Joe Biden is respected by other world leaders and he will represent America well, in spite of the clean up job he’ll have to do convince others–trump is not America, nor does he represent American values.

Though Joe has, like most of us human beings, made mistakes in the past and erred in judgment about things based upon the knowledge and information he had then, just like we do–when we know better, we do better and I trust he’ll do what’s right for all now and in the future.

Now, people can think whatever they want to think, that’s their right, but if we start thinking about what’s best for America and all Americans, there is no other choice for a leader who can and will guide America into being a better place for all.

Just remember this–“feelings” have a place in our lives–just not in politics. It was feelings–negative ones against Hillary–that led us into this mess we’re all experiencing. Let’s just deal with the facts and put feelings aside and get Joe Biden elected president in 2020 and trust his choice for a running mate, instead of trying to badger him into choosing who we want.

I’m Mary Hall-Rayford and I endorse Joe Biden for president and discount anyone’s feelings to the contrary because feelings won’t get us where we need to be–as a world leader, the facts will–if we’re smart enough to act upon them.

joe biden

A Little Perspective

A Little Perspective

With all of the Executive Orders limiting and quarantining people–all over the world–and especially in the United States, people are grumbling.

CEOs are grumbling about losing money in businesses–the sports arena, airlines, children and parents are grumbling, every market that contributes to the economy is grumbling because of the attempt by many leaders to save lives–from a destructive virus that does not discriminate and then we have an occupant in the WH who chose not to recognize and deal with the situation earlier than he did. But this isn’t about him, it’s about us–the everyday, working Americans who have apparently taken the privileges (to get into cars and drive where we want to go, when we want to go, and do what we want, when we want to do it), we have as a right.

There are hungry children all over the world. There are adults struggling with lack of job skills, addictions and apathy. There are homeless people living in parks, dumpster diving to eat, sleeping in public toilets so they have someplace to wash their face. There are people who have job skills and can’t find jobs. There are companies who won’t hire specific groups of people and have wage caps that won’t allow a person to save for a rainy day.

Well that rainy day has come and it’s been raining for four weeks now with no sign of a let up, yet. Why? Because of that pesky virus that’s killing people and since we weren’t prepared to contain it or stop it, here we are–on lockdown–except for going out for essential needs–food and medicine. And here is where things get really crazy. The grumbling by folks who yet have lives to live–angry because they can’t travel to their homes up north, or have their landscapers cut their lawns (they can do it themselves, but that’s too much to expect of the privileged, right?) or they can’t go to the salon or the barber or get their nails done or do some spring painting or plant gardens. Really? Did anyone see the statement about lives lost?

Over 200,000 thousand people have contracted the virus in America and 20 thousand have lost their lives. In order to minimize any further loss of life, governors–primarily–have issued executive orders asking people to stay at home, away from large gatherings so they limit contact with others who might be carrying the virus. And what do silly people do? Complain and grumble.

I wonder what they would do if someone had started a war and over half of the nation’s buildings were destroyed, banks, hospitals, stores, farmland–everything. The homes in the Hamptons, and Martha’s Vineyard and further north in Michigan–all desolated and the beaches demolished with contaminated water. What good would privilege do anyone then? There is no food to be found, no water to drink and the air is polluted with contaminates from exploding bombs. What would we do then? There is no shelter other than a partially standing wall here and there, and masses are huddled wondering which way to turn or fearful if they’ll be attacked for the shreds they now call clothes. The rats are thriving, but there is little animal life left and people are hungry. What will they do?

We are not in that situation but there are people in other countries who are and they’re too busy trying to survive to complain. So why can’t we do the same? We need to take another look at ourselves and see this situation from a different perspective. We may be doing without our favorite restaurant or getting gussied up or entertaining friends and families, but what we have, that the dead don’t have is–another chance to live our lives, if we practice social distancing and abide by the executive orders of those who are simply trying to keep us safe. If we don’t have life, having a job won’t matter, flowers and vegetable gardens won’t matter, homes in other places won’t matter, none of it will matter if we are dead.

So, do everyone that’s left a favor–practice social distancing and give us all a chance to live until the next pandemic (for it will come), but let’s learn from this one how to survive and thrive, while we can. Think about it, with a little more perspective other than not being able to live our “privileged lives” having everything we want.

COVID19 Our Lives Matter

COVID19 Our Lives Matter

I’ve been watching as the world turns and evolves and grapples with the devastating crisis for which there is no cure. Lives are changed forever–and some are lost–leaving grieving families and friends, wondering what happened. Though I am not a health expert or scientist, I can say with confidence, this didn’t have to be this way.

When it was first known–with the confirmed case in November in Wuhan, it should have been taken seriously and every effort made to make sure the loss of lives was mitigated by attempts to thwart the spread of the virus–not deny its existence. The denial of its existence and refusal to address the damage the virus could cause is the reason we are seeing what we see now in America.

When will the lives of human beings become more important than a election to trump? Oh, he’s doing “something” now, but what he could have done when he was first told of the possibility of widespread contagion and didn’t do, will never make up for the lives lost. And the first thing he did–dismantling the agency that could have prepared America for this pandemic–should have been a red flag about his incompetence. Anyone supporting his position right now is just as guilty of murder as he is.

What we don’t need is a petty, grudge-mongering self-indulgent narcissistic bully in charge of anything that has to do with this crisis. America deserves to have leadership who at least understands the importance of having experts direct the path we take to navigate us to victory, with the least number of lives lost in the process. What we don’t need is a pathological liar who blames everything he did wrong on others. What we don’t need is a bloated egotistical orange menace trying to explain anything.

What we need is strong leadership capable of assessing the situation and doing what’s right, no matter who does it. Now is not the time for egos to rise to the surface–whoever comes up with a viable solution should be welcomed, no matter what their political party affiliation. We need appropriate supplies for our healthcare system and workers, tests for those who need to be tested and a populace who takes the warnings and admonitions seriously. We cannot stop a virus from spreading if we’re not willing to do our part to keep it from spreading.

STAY HOME!  STAY HOME! STAY HOME! BY STAYING HOME, WE SAVE LIVES–OURS AND OTHERS!

What we really need in this situation (aside from appropriate medical care) is a wealth of common sense exercised in every community. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the more we isolate ourselves from potential harm, the fewer lives will be at risk of contracting this virus.

The stories–of lost lives and hurting families are numerous–primarily because families didn’t get a chance to say good-bye to those afflicted and died. We can do better folks. We must do better. Use technology to communicate with others rather than attempting to congregate in public places where the virus can attach itself. If we exercise a little wisdom now, we’ll have plenty of time to gather together when the decline of the virus is known and we can all breathe a little easier.

This is not a great time for any of us–most can’t stand to be isolated–but we must do, what we must do, because our lives matter. We must listen to the experts, not the know-nothing menace in the WH!

 

 

Politically Engaged

Politically Engaged

Looking back at the year 2019, I must admit, I was more engaged in the political arena than I ever thought possible. Though I was politically inspired to run for president in 2020 (reaction to trump in 2017) and motivated to support candidates in 2018, I never thought I’d actually run for an office. Although I didn’t win the seat for City Council, I gained so much more—friends, experience, and respect from the residents of Eastpointe (at least that’s the way they make me feel). And of course—support from family is always appreciated.

First of all, I attended my first swearing-in-ceremony for our Governor in January of 2019 and later that night, attended her inaugural ball. What a blast—from freezing outside in the morning to enjoying the glitz of the evening.

Later, in the same month, I was inspired to run for a seat on our City Council during a meeting with our State Representative, Kevin Hertel. I knew there were two seats open and knew one would be retained by the incumbent, and thought I had a shot at the other.

Thanks to the help of Robert Roscoe (who became my campaign treasurer), we were able to obtain the number of signatures needed to get on the ballot and from that point on—my life was a bit of a whirlwind. I was also serving as the secretary for our 9th Congressional District, secretary for the South Central Macomb Democratic Club, secretary of the Official Democratic Black Caucus of Macomb County and on the executive board of the Macomb County Democratic Committee. I also learned how to get endorsements by other groups

I began attending City Council meetings in 2017 and was even appointed to our Zoning Board of Appeals in 2018. Attended a class to enhance my understanding of what the role entailed and met Cliff Wilson (a really great guy), who was also in the class.

Did I mention that I also started working for the Eastpointe Community Schools District? Well, I did and met the most awesome women anyone could ever hope to meet—Karen Beltz, Michelle Dyrval, Helen Lee and Laurie Jeffries. Not that the others at the school weren’t awesome as well, but these were the women with whom I worked,  on a daily basis. During my short tenure at that school—we had a blast and I am so thankful for meeting them and still enjoying their company when possible.  They did not hesitate to support my political ambitions and I’ll be forever grateful to them.

The run for City Council entailed so much more than I’d thought about, but I was up for the challenge. Filed paperwork, opened bank account and ACTBlue Account, and planned a fundraiser, as well as attended others. I attended school board meetings, council meetings, city events, marched in parades, and trekked about the city wearing out two pair of gym shoes starting on a third pair. I participated in candidate forums, completed questionnaires, and was interviewed by local newspaper and television reporters, as well as an independent filmmaker (released later this year in 2020). I had meetings with residents on a regular basis, ramped up my social media accessibility for all and marveled at all the people I met—online.

There were people online (especially Facebook) who didn’t appreciate my campaigning on community group pages, but then there were awesome defenders of my campaign—Lauren Tossey immediately comes to mind, along with Laura Pagels and Jeanne Trice. And after that, a number of residents—Frank Accavitti, Phil DiMarialet, and others, let me know they supported my efforts.

During this time, I also became a block captain involved with our Eastpointe Neighborhood Watch Program—that’s how I met Laura and Jeanne and other residents on our three block area. I have the best neighbors in the world! And those in the NWG are the best. For “First Responders Day,” we provided our fire department with a meal and with a plea to assist, many of the block captains participated in providing a “Thanksgiving Meal” to our police and fire department.

Additionally, I met many people on the NextDoor community site. Tom Klawender will be a lifetime friend along with others, Gayle, Victoria, Danielle Gaston, Devi, Carol, Rhonda—and so many more, I can’t even remember everyone’s name at the present moment. And then there are is my Twitter Family (numbering over 9K) that were encouraging and supportive of my efforts in my political run. My social media family makes me realize how blessed I truly am.

As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t win the seat, but my determination to keep my promise, being a voice for the community, has put me on a different path—one I know I’ll enjoy and with the help of the residents, I know we’ll make a difference in this city. Here are the thoughts of one resident, posted on her page on Facebook and had me in tears:

I could be here the rest of the year ( ) writing about all the people that made 2019 better.

I’m going to keep it to one aspect and two people.

When I was in college, I had a professor in my ‘State and Local Government’ class who exhorted us to pay more attention to our local leaders, as what they did would have more of an impact on our daily lives than anything done on a federal level. He was right. Most of us can’t even name their Mayor or State Representative, but can tell you everything they like, or don’t like, about the President.

Keeping this in mind, both Ril Brozowski and Mary Hall-Rayford have reminded me of Professor Jarvis’ words from almost 40 years ago.

Ril for making Dania and I aware of the ‘players’ on our City Council, and for giving us some great advice PRN during our local elections this year.

Mary was a candidate for City Council this year. Unfortunately she did not win, but that has not slowed her down. Mary has some great insight into character and she has continued to be involved in the community. She makes herself available to all.

These two are the people the Prof spoke of and they have inspired me to heed his words….even if it has taken me years to do so!   Comment by Sue Fancett

So, this is how the year ended—with me in tears reading what a resident thought of me.

Now, I’m more determined than ever to make sure Eastpointe Residents have a voice in our local government—someone who will stand up for and with them as we move forward in becoming the Family Town—that embraces all.

1st responders day